Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – September 24, 2012
Board members present: Matt Gasparich, Elfreide Noble, Toby Thaler, Shawn Mulanix, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.
Matt opened the meeting and invited those in attendance to introduce themselves and make any announcements they would like to.
- Jessica Vets announced that, at this time, there have been no safety-related complaints regarding Oktoberfest which was held September 21 – 23. She asked that if anyone hears of any issues, especially drunk driving, please call or email her.
Transportation Issues: Matt noted some of the more pressing transportation issues in Fremont: the southbound bus lane on Aurora, the westbound bus lane coming from Wallingford on 46th, and pedestrian safety concerns crossing N. 36th (east of where the street becomes Leary) and 43rd and Fremont Avenue. He also introduced speakers Peter Hahn, Seattle Department of Transportation; Bill Bryant, Seattle Department of Transportation; and Owen Kehoe, King County Metro.
- Peter Hahn said that it is important that the neighborhood express concerns about transportation issues. You can apply online if you think there is a need for a crosswalk. SDOT then analyzes pedestrian and automobile traffic at the location. Safety is a huge issue. The good news is that pedestrian fatalities have been declining in the city. In the past two years there have been about 10 each year. Cell phone usage is a big concern for both drivers and pedestrians.
He also talked about the need to invest more in streets. The Bridging the Gap levy has 3 years left (of a total of 9 years). It has provided $40 million annually: half is used for upkeep/maintenance; the other half is used for major projects such as the 2012 project on N. 85th. He said this will be a major decade for transportation projects (almost like the 1960’s when I-5 was constructed). He listed theMercer Street project, the Waterfront/Viaduct Removal/ Tunnel project, the SR 520 Bridge. There are also 6 rapid transit (Rapid Ride) bus lines being implemented.
The City is also working on updating the Bike Master Plan. The Transit Master Plan has been passed by the Council.
- Bill Bryant said that SDOT works closely with Metro. The southbound bus lane is part of the planning for the north portal to the tunnel. During peak times, 26 buses per hour travel southbound onAurora. He said that they could have communicated better about the implementation of the new bus lane. Also, Rapid Ride will begin in September 2013 onAurora.
The next round of studies is underway regarding the expansion of Sound Transit. The last vote to approve funding was in 2008. He noted that 70% of Amazon workers live west of I-5. Amazon is funding a 4th streetcar to be used on the South Lake Union / downtown tracks. The trolleybus network is being expanded. Route 13 would go across Queen Anne toSeattlePacificUniversity, then across theFremontBridge, and upFremont Avenue to the zoo. It was noted that for many yearsFremont residents have wanted bus service resumed between upper and lowerFremont.
- Owen Kehoe said that Metro is working to reduce the variability in travel times of routes. Another challenge is how to implement bike lanes on streets that have trolley tracks. A bike lane will be implemented onWestlake.
Kevin Beder expressed concern about the need for cleaning certain streets and bridge sidewalks. SDOT is responsible for cleaning sidewalks where there is no adjoining property and took note of the locations that Kevin identified.
It is estimated that 2% to 3% of SDOT’s capital improvement budget goes towards improvements for bicycle use. There was also discussion about planning for greenways. Peter noted that an upcoming challenge will be the construction of the west end of theMercer St.Project which will impact traffic onAurora.
Minutes: A motion was made, seconded, and passed to approve the August minutes.
Treasurer’s Report: Shawn presented the report below. The funds from the Union Bank CD have been moved to a BECU CD. A small royalty check from sales of theFremont history book has been received.
BECU checking: $ 3,096.40
BECU money market: 25,012.92
BECU saving: 5.00
BECU CD: 36,404.58
Commitments: $5,000.00 B.F. Day Playground
1,249.00 46th Street Mural
500.00 HazelHeightsP Patch
- ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES: Matt reported that the FNC sandwich board sign is up. The issue of picking up FNC mail is still unresolved.
- CANDIDATE FORUM: The October 22nd FNC meeting will be a debate between Frank Chopp and Kshama Sawant, candidates for the 43rd Legislative District, Position 2; and pro/con speakers on Referendum 74 (marriage issue). It will be held at the Doric Lodge. A moderator will ask questions of the speakers and the speakers will be able to ask questions of one another.
The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be October 22, 2012.